Comparative International Education Society’s annual meeting, in Montreal, May 1-5, 2011 (EN)

01/05/2011 — 05/05/2011

The Education Support Program of the Open Society Foundations convenes a panel to present work under its initiative entitled Strengthening the Evidence Based Practice of Educational Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).  The panel presents the efforts of educational CSOs to improve the extent to which the
information gathered during their school and classroom levels interventions are
validated sources of systematic social data. The presentations under this panel report on our network’s preoccupations to develop and test information gathering protocols and strategies at the level of partnering CSOs.


The panel includes:

  • A comparative overview of 11 CSO based information gathering protocols and strategies developed as part of the initiative.
  • 4 data gathering protocols and strategies, presented along with the resulting assessments of education inclusion practices at school and classroom levels.
  • Open discussions.

Inclusive education is a highly visible yet contentious notion in contemporary education reforms because of conceptual, historical, pragmatic and methodological reasons.  However, there are gaps that result from methodo-logical issues, which result from the validity problems of operationalizations of interventions, lack of detailed documentation of change processes and clear implications for the transferability of practice driven research findings, but also that longitudinal studies are remarkable few.


The panel’s principal contribution lies in drawing attention to the importance of education CSO based data gathering protocols and strategies to mitigate the data scarcity on educational and social integration at school. Our partners are from: the Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Hungary, Macedonia, Namibia, Poland, Romania, Serbia and South Africa.

Measuring Educational Equity in State Delivery in Latin America


Axel Rivas, Director of CIPPEC’s Education Program

Center for the Implementation of Public Policies Promoting Equity and Growth

Av. Callao 25, 1°

C1022AAA Buenos Aires, Argentina

Tel: (54 11) 4384-9009
Fax: (54 11) 4371-1221



A wide range of literature covers issues related to educational inequalities in Latin America. Nevertheless, the distribution of state educational services in relation to socio-economical background of students has been a neglected topic and approach to the theme. This paper presents a comparative map of ways in which Latin American states have developed methodologies to analyze the distribution of educational services.

Then the paper focuses the analysis in the case of Argentina. Using data from the “Strengthening the Evidence Based Practice of Educational CSOs’ Initiative” project, it describes ways in which the state reduces, reproduces and enlarges social inequalities through the distribution of education services (schools infrastructure, alimentary services, quality and quantity of teachers, books, computers, and other indicators).

It concludes presenting a methodology to measure state distribution of education services, adaptable to CSOs and at the state level, to improve future justice and transparency in education delivery.


Measuring Educational Initiatives:  How and Why?

Alicja Derkowska, President of Educational Society of Malopolska (MTO

Educational Society of
Malopolska (MTO);

ul Limanowskiego 7, 33-300 Nowy Sacz, Poland

tel: +48.18.444.2557 or +48.607.440.885




Innovative, civic-minded, educational initiatives abound, but very few are based on measurable evidence of their long-term impact. Research in education is difficult to design and many CSOs lack the tools and experience to attempt this. Public Achievement (PA) is a program promoting social entrepreneurship and active citizenship in youth which has been implemented throughout Eastern Europe, the Balkans and former Soviet Union. In this paper we will assess the degree to which PA has benefitted students in Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Moldova and Poland with special attention paid to the program’s ability to include students of disadvantaged backgrounds. The tools designed to test data gathering strategies and objectively assess such programs will be discussed as well as their application to the wider field of education. The ability of CSOs to prove that they can measure the short and long-term results of projects they implement and show positive change will garner support (both financial and non-financial) from local governments and school authorities thereby making institutional changes that will benefit future generations of youth.

Measuring educational interventions: multiple purposes and multiple perspectives


Dejan Stanković  and Milja Vujačić

Institute for Educational Research, Belgrade




Measuring educational interventions is sometimes understood as unnecessary redirection of resources away from the essential activity – making things happen. Even with that attitude and maybe after the phase of enthusiastic feeling that ‘we are surely making a difference’, one will eventually reflect on questions like: did things really happen, how they happened this way and why, etc. Important issue here is for whom these questions are relevant and by whose standards the answers are evaluated. We argue that at least three clusters of users should have a stake in measuring educational interventions. Firstly, the funders and the providers of educational interventions should gather data on effects, processes and overall context in order to learn and improve the effectiveness of their ongoing and future initiatives. Secondly, beneficiaries in and around the school should benefit from measurement as well in a number of ways. Essentially, it means gathering data in a manner which respect diverse voices, shares control over the process, develops capacity of stakeholders to gather and analyze data in their own right and so on. Thirdly, gathered data should serve wider community as a source for knowledge creation and utilization in efforts to find promising initiatives and understand the contexts in which they can be scaled up. This paper deals with these multiple perspectives and presents our efforts in devising organizational data gathering strategies and methodologies that can serve all three purposes at the same time, while
satisfying the basic principles of utility, systemic inquiry and respectability.        

Exploring Evidence-Based Educational Practices of CSOs’: case study of Republic of Macedonia

Katerina Mojanchevska

Performing Arts Center Multimedia, Skopje, Macedonia

Address: DTC Mavrovka Lamela C 1/1

1000 Skopje, Republic of Macedonia

T/F: +389 23111570



During the nineties, Macedonia as all of the neighboring Western Balkan countries experienced the rise of the civic consciousness, and with it the first civic initiatives, organisations, associations and foundations have been established. For the past twenty years the so-called third sector has been rapidly growing, establishing itself as a true force of social change. Foremost, the inclusion of the third sector in the educational reforms taking place in the last decade is not to be neglected.

In spite of the many problems faced by the civil society sector in the country (financial sustainability; lack of sponsorship; insufficient coalitions and partnerships among the sector, itself), it proved to be the strongest element in the educational reforms headed toward producing engaged, critical and creative
students. However, it is a paradox that in most cases its contribution is not based on data gathered through the educational services it provides, but rather
on donor`s interest, selected opinions, or “tradition.” Far too often, elaborations on the CSO`s data gathering protocols and strategies are omitted and the call for connecting practice to research undermined.

In that sense, the paper will explore the data gathering protocols and strategies by CSO`s that generate their educational initiatives and aims to develop a set of criteria to evaluate new and existing evidence-based practices in the  educational sector in the country. Finally, the paper will explore the capacities and disposition of CSO`s to adopt comprehensive data gathering protocols and strategies to systematically collect data emerging from their service work.

December 2018

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.